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March 2002

03.28.2002

The start of something wonderful? CamelBones could be really... really... REALLY big! Or at least I think so... Yeah, for years there's ben Tk and perl and GTK and native widgets for [insert yer OS] and what not... but with the insurge of new Mac OS X users from the *nix world, many of whom love perl, mixed with the classic MacPerl hackers, and a whole mess of other people, I think we could see some coold stuff happening... CamelBones is definitely worth keeping an eye on...

And hey, if you aren't checking in with Aaron almost daily, start now... (How do you think I find out about these things?)

Once long ago I told some Windows-loving weenie why I didn't want to use rich tech email, or html email or Outlook/Exchange email, whatever that is... I explained that all communication could be accomplished through ASCII. He didn't believe me of course... and maye it's not entirely true, but at least you can create Gantt charts...

You wouldn't think obsfucated database design would be something someone would do on purpose. Either that's the explanation for a certain database I'm using, or it was designed by a team of very drunken DBA's...

Tomorrow should be a quiet day at work... most people are celebrating some sort of holiday, and I plan on saying goodbye to OS 9. If all goes as planned (and it always does, right?) I'll be using OS X at work before the weekend!

More fun with perl modules: been getting in a bit deeper with HTML::Template and DB_File... fun, fun, fun!

I used to know this guy...

Crap.. I just realized my docs aren't validating... argghh.... looks like some bad code creeped in... must... fix... it... apologies...

03.26.2002

Whew, I just sped up my upstreaming code quite a bit. It wasn't difficult to do, I just had to look at code that was a few years old and realize that I was doing things the difficult way. Sometimes you gotta go back to old code, and muck with it, even if it does work fine. You might end up seeing something you didn't the last time, and make things x times as fast... foo!

I should have mentioned the other day that when I said 'RCS' I meant the Revision Control System, not the Radio Community Server... and I finally found RCS for Windows. For the Mac OS (pre OS X) there is also RCS for MPW. (Yes, it's 7 years old... yes, it works fine...)

If I was interested in the Radio Community Server, I'd look at the Python-RCS, at least until someone builds the Perl-RCS (hint hint!)

Dave sez: "Soon you'll be able to browse cool stuff on the Internet without running any Microsoft software." I'm pretty sure I can do this today. I use a non-Microsoft OS, and a non-Microsoft web browser. I've been able to do this since 1994 or so... did I miss something?

Officially sidetracked: I've finally started work on a project that I was supposed to start on back in the beginning of 2000. I actually did do some UI work, but now it's time to start writing code. So things may get a bit slow around here... at least as far as backend code related things go... But if were lucky, we should have a nice little systme to release under the GPL where we're done...

When I first heard of the quake in Afghanistan I thought, "Hey, they finally developed an earthquake machine!" I don't think I have to tell you who they are...

03.22.2002

I talked about this before, the term bread crumbs is just plain wrong in my book...

I'll be attending a Sock Hop tonight. It's at Emma's school. I have never attended one before, but I understand there will be soda, pizza, and ice cream sundaes... all for just $3.00 per family... yeehaw!

Nightly builds of Mozilla continue to look good... the Download Manager is there now... I did hit one JavaScript related weird thingy, but then again, how can you even write JavaScript without running into some damn problem... I remember why I rarely use JavaScript...

More CVS Fun: Configuring A CVS Server On Mac OS X

I've been using BBEdit as a poor man's RCS for quite a while, you just need to set up BBEdit to automatically backup a file before saving. I pick one folder, and it gets filled with files. I can always backtrack thru it and grab and old version and do a diff if I need to. I thought I should try using the real RCS on Mac OS X. It's working pretty good, I just have a terminal window open for the ci and co commands, and I have the command 'bbedit' aliased to open a file with BBEdit. So it's pretty smooth... and I get the benefit of other RCS tools as well, though I think /usr/bin/rcs2log is broke. I did find a version that worked included with some package I downloaded at some point in the past... (Thanks locate!)

03.20.2002

This is a bit disturbing... Dave is usually a "let's work together" and make it a "win-win" kind of guy... but with the news "The New York Times feeds are only available for Radio 8 users" I'm getting worried... Whatever the NT Times is providing, RSS, XML or something else, I can't get it. I can get it if I send UserLand $39.95 though... Of course I'm one of those equal-access-for-everyone kinda DIY guys, so what do I know about 'partnerships' and all of that fancy bizness stuff...

Also see: Dave Winer Drops a Stink Bomb...

Dear Aaron, step back up to the computer...

From evolt: The_Wrong_Way_to_Use_CSS_in_Page_Layouts... maybe they'll have an article called 'How_To_Write_Verbose_And_Really_Long_Mixed_Case_Urls' next!

On my to do list: learn (well, become proficient at using) RCS and CVS... Here's a CVS-RCS-HOWTO and here's info on Mac OS X and CVS... and if you want more Mac OS X related things, Geek Times has some...

Ahhh, it always exciting to see a young programmer come of age... and of course the great celebration that is the Fubar mitzvah is not to be missed!

We ordered a pizza from Rosati's last week, and while it's always been top notch - this time, it just plain sucked. They didn't have the soda we ordered, and tried to give us diet, the pizza looked roughly handled, and the breadsticks were nasty. I called and complained, and they sent new breadsticks... 40 minutes later... I ended up writing a complaint letter the next day and sent if off to the manager/owner. Then on Monday, the owner called to apologize and offer us a free pizza, saying he'd send out a coupon in the mail. I guess we'll give 'em another try... Just like Chainsaw and Dave learned in Summer School - the power of the pen! (Or inkjet, as the case may be...)

Perl Module of the Day: File::Tail

03.18.2002

More Fun With Browsers: Ok, I will now go completely off on a rant. This is how it works - and I'm sick of it... A user tells me that something doesn't work in Netscape 4.x, but it does work in IE. I check it out. The problem, dear reader, is not Netscape at all, but as usual poor freakin coding! Yes, invalid html, dammit! Then you'll hear people say "Netscape sucks" etc, etc... Well, Netscape does suck, and so does IE - and every other browser! It's all a question of what the browser should do when it sees invalid syntax. You can blame a huge amount of breakage of web pages to Internet Explorer, which historically is too relaxed on rendering pages. Leave out a table tag? No problem! IE will put it in for you... This, while being a convenience to sloppy coders, is just plain wrong. It's like having someone complete all of your sentences for you while you speak... and nobody wants that.

I await the day when AOL starts using Mozilla as it's core instead of IE, and a large chunk of the web breaks because people are too damn lazy to write proper html...

Anyway, if you did write 'proper' html - and by that I'm meaning validating XHTML with CSS used for layout, it should work freakin' everywhere... and those missing table tags won't get past a validator anyway... not to mention that you shouldn't be using tables to define the layout anyway...

Anyway, I've said enough... and said nothing new... look above or below for more of the same...

Mozilla woes: It ain't really Mozilla's fault... this one is not even the original developers fault (ok, maybe a little) but with Mozilla comes great power, and great power comes at a price. Mozilla allows you to disable un-requested windows, you know, like those pop-up, pop-under, pop-over, pop-tart ads that we all love so much, cool, eh? Yes. The problem is our web app does silly things. Sometimes when you click on a button it opens a smaller window, no problem. Sometimes when you click on a button, it submits the page, and when the new page returns it tries to open a smaller window. It doesn't open of course, because you didn't actually request it. Argh...

Bottom line is, if you are doing things that may now be affected by user preferences, that couldn't be affected in the past, they may now be affected and you'll have to take that into account. Your Foo May Vary...

Netscape 4.x doesn't deal well with doing GET's on un-encoded strings... other later developed browsers do, but only because they ain't 'strict' sir... whether it's sloppy developers (that seems to often be the case) or some other 'thingy' which should get the blame... In the end I am of the belief that urls should be properly encoded and I'm guessing syntax validators (and RFC) would agree with me. So, as usual, I think I'll blame the sloppy developers...

The guy who was working a nice little search engine for Movable Type is done... He's handed the code over to the Movable Type developers, which is a good thing... well, better than having it die of neglect. I'm still awaiting Movable Type 2.0 (and docs on the API.) From the wishlist: some sort of callback or room for plug-ins of some sort... filters or macros... or...

03.15.2002

I found the Movable Type feature request for more fields interesting. The web app I waste... I mean spend, most of my time on originally had a design that would support 10 custom fields per user group. You got a checkbox or a text input field. We eventually re-wrote the entire thing to use an unlimited amount of custom fields (including a global set) and expanded it to use any widget set: checkboxes, text input field, radio buttons, drop-down, multi-select list, etc... Pretty powerful stuff! On occasion, to actually use the fields as desired, you have to write some custom code... but if we're lucky, we get to write it in perl... ;)

I saw Deborah Branscom on Tech Live last night taking about something called 'blogging' - it sounds fascinating!

And just to show how things are interconnected, here's a link to Leo from TechTV talking to Ben an Mena about Movable Type. (Unfortunately I missed this episode!)

 

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